Bridging the Pioneering Gap

Summer has arrived and as many of us head into the vacation period, Aqua for All
is happy to share some positive developments from our Business for All program to bring smiles to your faces as you head off for a well-deserved break.

Enjoy the season!

Launching innovative business solutions and preparing for growth is often a challenging road for entrepreneurs. Aqua for All offers a trajectory of customized business support, risk funding and a network that enables entrepreneurs to tackle the challenges. We provide the means to engage with investors to increase understanding of the water and sanitation sector, removing hurdles to get them on board. In doing so, we facilitate the transformation of great ideas into scalable sustainable solutions to reach SDG6 – Safe drinking water and sanitation for all.

Two successful examples of entrepreneurs who are in the Business for All program:

aQysta Hydro-Powered Water Pumps sold over 200 pumps so far this year! Entrepreneur Lennart Budelmann, CEO of aQysta, the firm behind the unique and innovative hydro-powered Barsha Pump, shared his feedback on the contribution of Business for All in preparing the Barsha pump to validate the model and prepare to scale: “The business support is helping us to further define our international distribution strategy and to develop financial mechanisms for our Barsha Pump to reach an even larger base of farmers. aQysta has distributed more than 200 pumps since the beginning of 2017 and is setting up demonstrations of the Barsha Pump in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania with customers and expanding its distributor network”.

Hydroponics Kenya is another powerful example of a sound business initiative that is well-positioned for growth and has been spotted by investors! Hydroponics Kenya pioneered hydroponic farming technology in Africa.  It’s a quality, cost- effective and sustainable way of farming which saves up to 80% of water used in crop production compared to conventional farming. VIA Water supported the Hydroponics pilot of vertical farming in urban slums, enabling the poor to grow crops using safe water. Saskia Reus-Makkink, Manager of the Business for All program provided support and advice to Hydroponics during the pilot and thereafter. We are very happy to report that Hydroponics received funding of € 850.000 from USAID and a private commercial investor to scale operations. 

Peter Chege, Founder & CEO of Hydroponics also shared his feedback: “We received valuable support to develop and validate our business model. Based on a gap analysis to get ready to scale after a pilot for urban farming, we’ve been advised to investigate a credit/lease model to make the products more affordable.  We developed all inclusive hydroponics services which in turn enabled us to secure a totaling amount of € 850.000. Hydroponics Africa could not have attained this milestone were it not for the valuable advice and encouragement of Business for All.”

Targeted food security and water efficiency results to scale up with the additional resources secured are:
•    2,223 small farmers will increase crop production by using hydroponic units;
•    16,000 people (mostly poor) will have access to an improved source of food;
•    663,640 liters of water will be saved the coming 3 years.

Business for All congratulates Hydroponics Kenya on the results achieved thus far and looks forward to delivering further support in the upcoming stage of preparing to scale. For more questions about our approach, please contact Saskia Reus-Makkink, Manager of our Business for All program: s.reus@aquaforall.org